Combat! reviews by Jo Davidsmeyer
Episodes rated from 0 to 4 bayonets
(124) One at a Time
RATING: 1-1/2 bayonets
Written by Esther and Bob Mitchell
Directed by Bernard McEveety
First aired 22-Mar-1966
Episode 28 of Season 4
After the slaughter of his untried troops, a German sergeant vows vengence
against Saunders and his squad. The sergeant stalks the squad, always one step
ahead of them, and picks off Saunders' men one by one. Saunders outwits him in the
end, and the German dies clutching his stolen weapon and calling the names of
his fallen men.
"One at a Time" opens with a great battle. I love these shots everytime I see
them (they're re-used from "Anatomy Of A Patrol"). These clips are edited easily into the new footage, since "Anatomy" and
this episode are both directed by Bernard McEveety. McEveety's strength as an
action director is evident in this episode, especially as he shows the horror of
battle through the eyes of these inexperienced German soldiers.
The action scenes are the best part of this episode about a German sergeant
seeking a convoluted revenge on Saunders and his squad. The script by Esther and
Bob Mitchell stretches credulity too far as the German, by happy coincidence,
overhears the intended route of Saunders' squad, escapes with weaponry
appropriate to allay certain suspicions, and other contrivances. The fourth act is very
talky, with Saunders successfully deducing all the sniper's plans and
motivations from the barest of hints.
The scene with Littlejohn, Saunders, and Fry near the end of the episode is
unintentionally amusing. They discuss Saunders' odd plan to ferret out the
German, talking about Littlejohn as if he were not there. Littlejohn listens dumbly
as they discuss his abilities and actions, never throwing in his two cents or
even just piping up with a "Hey! I'm here!"
NOTES, ODDITIES, AND BLOOPERS:
The railroad set in this episode is the same used in the two-parter "What Are the Bugles Blowin' For?" The Bee Gees disco classic "Staying Alive" was also shot there.
Dick Peabody's billing is very low in the cast list.
Rick's stunt double, Walt Davis, has a featured role as Kerrigan.
Vic Morrow as Sgt. Saunders
Rick Jason as Lt. Hanley [does not appear]
Jan Merlin as Sgt. Erich
Larry Kert as Fry
Ronnie Welsh as Peal
Robert Yuro as Tanner
Rod Lauren as Guerney
Dick Peabody as Littlejohn
Jerry Ayres as Sims
Walt Davis as Kerrigan
Hagen Smith as Daniels
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Davidsmeyer. All rights reserved. Photographs from the TV series